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Obesity is a widespread health problem in the United States today. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about one-third of American adults are obese. This epidemic health problem results in an ever-rising rate of other co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, stroke, heart problems and diabetes.

To prevent gradual increase in weight, the mentioned source recommends some decrease in caloric intake coupled with increased physical activity. However, in the typical American lifestyle,  people usually consume much more calories than what their energy expenditure through physical activities can handle.  Thus, to reverse this weight gain trend, an obese patient needs to have a fewer caloric intake, more regular physical activity and healthier food choices.

Weight loss maintenance is considered more difficult to handle than weight loss itself. In fact, most of  the American adults who previously lost some weight usually regain it slowly over time.  And so, because of this problem in weight loss maintenance, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends small caloric decreases in food intake to keep the lost weight from coming back.  As stated by this source, for most people who already got rid of their excess weight, a reduction of fifty to a hundred calories per day can keep their previous weight from returning.  However, those who are still starting with their weight loss program must have a total reduction of five hundred calories per day to have an effective weight loss.

When it comes to physical activity, a maximum of sixty-minute-exercise of moderate to vigorous in intensity is necessary to prevent weight gain in non-obese individuals.  However, for individuals who are previously obese, as much as sixty to ninety minutes of moderate exercise is needed to prevent their previous weight from coming back.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasizes that caloric count is the most important determinant for weight gain and not the proportion of proteins and carbohydrates in each meal. In fact, according to this source, the chronic diet that provides very low or very high amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and even fats can result in other nutritional deficiencies that may be detrimental to a person’s overall health.  Although most of these diets are effective in producing weight loss, the maintenance of weight reduction, a common factor not found in these diets, is still the best determinant for a healthy lifestyle.

Decrease in caloric intake coupled with  increased regular physical activity is still the best choice for a healthy weight loss plan.  After all, a change in lifestyle, and not only the change in weight, is the most important contributor for better health.

Category : Weight Loss Guides

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